wom·​an | \ ˈwu̇-mən How to pronounce woman (audio) , especially Southern ˈwō- How to pronounce woman (audio) or ˈwə- How to pronounce woman (audio) \
plural women\ ˈwi-​mən How to pronounce woman (audio) \

Definition of woman

1a : an adult female person
b : a woman belonging to a particular category (as by birth, residence, membership, or occupation) usually used in combination councilwoman
2 : womankind
3 : distinctively feminine nature : womanliness
4 : a woman who is a servant or personal attendant
5a chiefly dialectal : wife
b : mistress
6 : a woman who is extremely fond of or devoted to something specified I'm a chocolate woman through and through, but one bite of West's banana pudding cupcake and I was sold.— Hattie Brown Garrow

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Other Words from woman

woman adjective
womanless \ ˈwu̇-​mən-​ləs How to pronounce woman (audio) , especially Southern  ˈwō-​ or  ˈwə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for woman


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Examples of woman in a Sentence

She grew up to become a confident and beautiful woman. She is a grown woman. The store sells shoes for both men and women.
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Recent Examples on the Web The driver, a Cleveland man, 19, was in the car with a Cleveland woman, 33. cleveland, "Seven people report identities stolen by those seeking unemployment benefits: Solon police blotter," 12 Feb. 2021 And how about that pretty woman — the one who goes to church and everything — and really seems to have made a love connection with you? Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "There's a nude photo scam going around — and it's as bad as it sounds," 11 Feb. 2021 Manley added that the woman and child, believed by police to be a 10-year-old boy, were not injured during the standoff. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "Austin police fatally shoot man holding a woman and child hostage," 11 Feb. 2021 And in one wrenching moment, police were shown shooting and killing a San Diego woman, Ashli Babbitt, as the mob tried to break through doors near the House Chamber. Anchorage Daily News, "Rioters acting on Trump’s ‘orders,’ Democrats say in trial," 11 Feb. 2021 And in one wrenching moment, police were shown shooting and killing a San Diego woman, Ashli Babbitt, as the mob tried to break through doors near the House Chamber. Tim Darnell, ajc, "GOP senators say Trump trial could end this weekend as Dems make final case," 11 Feb. 2021 Stevens said Salvaggio initiated contact with him while Stevens was trying to respond to a disagreement between a woman and Erick Matta, a friend of Stevens who also was advocating reform in Leon Valley. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Leon Valley councilman charged with assaulting police chief days before closed council session," 10 Feb. 2021 Watching her exodus was a reminder of the highest order: There is no law, no woman, greater than that of the word of God. Leah Johnson, Harper's BAZAAR, "After I Came Out, My Mother Left Our Church to Fight for Queer Youth," 10 Feb. 2021 At the cemetery, the researchers discovered the skeletal remains of a person who fit the Gallur mayor’s description: a tall woman between 50 and 60 years old, killed by a shot to the head. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Is This the Body of a Woman Mayor Murdered During the Spanish Civil War?," 8 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'woman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of woman

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for woman

Middle English, from Old English wīfman, from wīf woman, wife + man human being, man

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Time Traveler for woman

Time Traveler

The first known use of woman was before the 12th century

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Statistics for woman

Last Updated

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for woman



English Language Learners Definition of woman

: an adult female human being
: a woman who has a specified job or position
: all women thought of as a group


wom·​an | \ ˈwu̇-mən How to pronounce woman (audio) \
plural women\ ˈwi-​mən \

Kids Definition of woman

1 : an adult female person
2 : women considered as a group

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More from Merriam-Webster on woman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for woman

Nglish: Translation of woman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of woman for Arabic Speakers

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